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First-round playoff reactions

What a weekend. 

We saw upsets, comebacks and of course blowouts. It was a first-round highlighted by just how competitive the GMC, SWOC and GCL are.

All three leagues saw their second-best team get upset by a league foe. In fact, the GCL Co-ed and Greater Miami Conference went undefeated against non-league foes.

Let’s dive in

Badin

After a fantastic regular season, Badin took a first-round dip out of the tournament. All season long they’ve been able to overcome two weaknesses; slow starts and free throw shooting. On Saturday they could not. They fell to Roger Bacon 57-49.

At halftime they trailed nine, as they shot 6-15 from the charity stripe. Roger Bacon, who felt as though they were slighted as a #15 seed, were able to keep Badin off the board through the first 16 minutes. 

The Rams came charging back. Josh Hegemann led a 12-0 charge in the first minute of the third quarter, which gave his team their first lead of the game. Quickly the Spartans regained that lead, held on for the win.

It was a somber end for the Rams, but don’t let it fool you into thinking that they didn’t have an incredible season. After all, it’s not every year they win 17 regular-season games.

Lakota West

Wow. The Firebirds put on a clinic from the opening tip, en route to beating Loveland 86-50. Carter Combs scored 19 in the first half. Nathan Dudukovich shot lights-out from the perimeter (7-9 on three-pointers). It was a performance that can make you a believer in West (if you aren’t one already). More importantly, it makes their showdown with Mason all the better.

Hamilton

The Big Blue started out slow, but rolled in the second half, as they beat Fairfield 57-40. Hamilton outscored their opponent 43-15 in the final 16 minutes after trailing by 11 at the half. It’s been said before that Hamilton can beat any team they play, but they can also fall to any team they play. Well, they are 9-1 in their last ten games and show no signs of stopping.

They do play in what has to be the toughest sectional, as they are going to need to beat a talented Mt. Healthy team to advance to the finals, just to play either St.X or West Clermont. 

Princeton

Give it to the Vikings. Man, they’re good. It was the first time I’ve watched them play this year, and I wasn’t disappointed. They’re a tough out for anyone they play in this tournament. Winton Woods, Lakota West, Mason, whoever– good luck, because the Vikings are for real.

Ross

For the first time since 2012, the Rams won a postseason game. It was a long time coming, and it sure was sweet. Following another 15 win season, they took care of business against New Richmond. Cole Gronas and Max Stepaniak shined as they combined for 40 of the Rams’ 60 points. Next up, they take on a charging Fenwick squad.

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